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Espumilla Beach (Santiago)

S 012.04', W 9049.742'
2014-04-16
http://www.galapagospark.org/sitio.php?page=playa_espumilla
Our rating: 8.00
Overall rating:

Espumilla beach is the best place to observe galapagos hawks. Many of them are hunting here for baby turtles. Sounds tragic, but it is the local food chain.

Who lives here:
 - galapagos hawks, saw a dozen
 - marine turtles, not seen
 - baby turtles, saw one
 - sally lightfoot crabs, saw many
 - american oystercatchers, saw few

Santiago Island and in particular places around this beach, for a long time have been a haven for pirates, providing them with water, food and turtles. They brought to island many animals: goats, pigs, donkeys and rats, which greatly disrupted the ecosystem. In 2006 thousands of these animals were exterminated, in particular about 80,000 goats were killed! In a few years ecosystem was restored.

You need to be here as early as possible, then there is a chance to see the big turtles, which are returned to the water. Despite the fact that we were on the beach at 6 am, we did not saw turtles. Nevertheless, the place is very beautiful.

Espumilla Beach (Santiago)
Espumilla Beach (Santiago) Yuriy Buriak

First of all we examined the turtle tracks, but did not find large turtles.

Espumilla Beach (Santiago)
Espumilla Beach (Santiago) Yuriy Buriak

But found little baby turtle that began his journey to the water. 7-10 minutes is needed for the distance of 10 meters.

Espumilla Beach (Santiago)
Espumilla Beach (Santiago) Yuriy Buriak

It creeps slowly, so many baby turtles became victims of the hawks.

Espumilla Beach (Santiago)
Espumilla Beach (Santiago) Yuriy Buriak

Hawks gathered on the nearby trees and tried to approach the baby turtle on the sand, but we did not allow. Local young hawks (those that are brighter) do not afraid of people. Here Nastya walks around the hawk and it just watches her.

Espumilla Beach (Santiago)
Espumilla Beach (Santiago) Yuriy Buriak

Here is an interesting shot, why a small bird is not afraid of such a large predator?

Espumilla Beach (Santiago)
Espumilla Beach (Santiago) Yuriy Buriak

Senior hawks are sitting on the trees. But still not afraid of people, next photo was taken at a distance of 1 meter.

Espumilla Beach (Santiago)
Espumilla Beach (Santiago) Yuriy Buriak

After 10 minutes baby turtle successfully reached the water.

Espumilla Beach (Santiago)
Espumilla Beach (Santiago) Yuriy Buriak

Then we went for a walk along the beach, about a kilometer in length. Along the way there are different birds. In the end, on the rocks, you can find a lot of sally lightfoot crab.

Espumilla Beach (Santiago)
Espumilla Beach (Santiago) Yuriy Buriak

Getting there: Only as a part of cruise

Tags, Ecuador: animals, beach, galapagos

Tags, all countries: animals, beach, galapagos
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